Hoping to generate substantial revenue from the granite waste lying in granite quarries, the State government has amended the Tamil Nadu Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1959 to allow such waste, which cannot be sold as a dimensional granite block, to be used as road metal or as a raw material in the production of manufactured sand (M-Sand) or for any other purpose.
“Granite waste may be sold as road metal or a raw material for production of manufactured sand or for any other purpose, with the permission of the District Collector. The rate of seigniorage fee for granite waste shall be ₹100 per tonne,” read a sub-rule that was included in the Tamil Nadu Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1959 recently. ‘Granite waste’ is defined as granites less than 15 cm x 10 cm in size, which cannot be sold as a dimensional granite block.
So far, the granite waste generated during quarry operations have been stocked in the quarry sites and exposed to various climatic conditions, resulting in quality degradation. In a policy note for 2022-23, the Industries (Mines and Minerals) Department had said that there was a huge demand for granite waste for the production of M-Sand and road metals and for other purposes.
“Granite wastes may be disposed for M-Sand production and other various usages after due amendment in the existing rules by fixing the seigniorage fee on tonnage basis, thereby the government will get substantial revenue from the above sources,” it had said. The State government was also taking steps to put up granite-bearing government lands for auction to revive the granite industry, it said.
A total of 27 black granite and 83 multi-coloured granite quarries on 336.46.6 ha are being operated in Tamil Nadu. While black granite is found in Dharmapuri, Krishnagiri, Salem, Tiruvannamalai and Villupuram districts, granites of various shades are found in Dindigul, Krishnagiri, Madurai, Salem and Virudhunagar districts. Kunnam Black, Zebra White, Paradiso, Red Wave, Tiger Skin, Desert Brown and Kashmir White are among the most popular commercial varieties quarried in Tamil Nadu.